On the Table
In the Garden
We bring you the skinny on farming, straight from the field. C2C Farms is a Market Farm, testing multiple methods of farming, and educating the public. Follow us throughout the seasons to learn about our success, failures, and how we grow with our crops.
Technology Can Be Your Friend
My first encounter on the farm, and I hardly played in the dirt. The 1st day on the job we played with the tractors - rigging the seed boxes according to the rows and spacing set up on the ground. As most people know, different varieties of veggies/fruits/etc. require different amounts of spacing. The tractor was previously owned, and had been set according to corn planting - surprise surprise. Most of farming that goes on in the US produces corn and soy. But we specialize in an abundance of plant varieties, which means great things for consumers. But it doesn't come easy.
It took several hours to properly rig the attachment to the tractor (i dont know the tech name), and accurately measure and position the seed boxes for planting. - This day we were doing peas. Once the machinery was ready, it was only a matter of driving - in a matter of speaking.
An Educational Affair
We planted a wide range of potatoes. But I wasn't alone. A group of high school students from New Vista H.S. in Boulder spent two days volunteering as part of their "Four Days in May" program. The program provides students with four consecutive days to volunteer with pretty much any business or organization they like. By the time I got to the farm, I was needed a lesson from them as to the proper way of planting potatoes. Because the rows had been dug by the tractor, my job was to place potatoes in the rows according to correct spacing. See the pics with the stake. 12 inches - thats the magic number. Like I wrote earlier, we are all about variety in produce. German Butterball, Yukon Gold, and Nicola were just a few we planted.
This week was my first day harvesting at the farm. And I have to say, it was nice getting some quality time with the crops. The weather was perfect too. It was mostly overcast, probably hovering in the high 50s to low 60s. We spent the earlier part of the day harvesting baby spinach for sale at the farmers market later that day. Some of it had been damaged by a hail storm a week earlier. But most of it was in good shape, tender and tasty as can be. Because we were expecting some more precip over the next two days, we spent some time covering a large portion of lettuce with the remay - for protection. Remay is a layering that allows water and sunshine through, but provides some protection from possible hail. Its kinda like a makeshift greenhouse. But because the ground had been soaked from a number of earlier storms, we were slippin and slidin around in the mud, trying to secure the covering over the lettuce. I spent the remaining hours with others harvesting, processing (cleaning and bunching), and sorting a wide range of greens. All the while tasting the goods. The arugula was nice and peppery. The totsoi (asian mustard greens) was nice and crisp. And the "velvet wave" kale had a nice bitterness to it, without being tough. All in all, I dont mind the harvest - as long as I get to taste it all.
Getting Ready for Market
Wednesdays are Workin' Days
Today we spent much of the day gathering and harvesting some of the early season crops. Varieties included a number of lettuces (Caesar, Kramer and others), radishes (easter egg), Bok Choi, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Arugula, and a slew of others. The greens and radishes needed to be prepped (washed, dried, and packaged) for the farmers market later that day. Luck for us, the weather was favorable for harvesting greens. Because it was cool and even slightly raining for much of the early morning, the harvested greens didn't wilt at all, and remained as fresh as can be. And market goers would have a hard time resisting the beauty of the product. The harvested greens would also be distributed to a number of participating restaurants and CSA members. "CSA" is an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture. These are shares of the farm harvest where participants are given an opportunity to purchase a portion of the farm's crops before the season begins at a very low cost. It provides an income stream for the farmers so they can get ready for the season, and even better, results in inexpensive organic fresh veggies for the consumer - more than they know what to do with. I myself as an Abbo CSA member for the first time, and have been having difficulty consuming all the veggies we get each week. Its a problem I don't mind having.
Beginning the Transition:
Starting to Harvest the "Summer's" Veggies
Today's harvest included some lettuce varieties, but we started to make the move into more traditional summer vegetables. Pretty soon, we will have to wait until the beginning of Fall for more greens. The fields here are almost completely void of lettuce varieties. We began harvesting an Italian variety of zucchini. The plants are far more delicate than they appear. Many of what I would call branches are somewhat thorny, so its best to use gloves and wear long sleeves when harvesting. And hook knives appear to work best in order to avoid damaging the whole plant. The flowers (squash blossoms) are gorgeous as well. And if you are willing to experiment, you should harvest some for eating. Only harvest ones that appear to be on stems - those are the males. They wont produce any fruit, so you wont lose anything. You can take the blossom, and fill it with a creamy cheese mixture ( I like goat cheese and crispy garlic). Once stuffed, fry them, sprinkle with salt and pepp, and enjoy. We also spent part of the morning pulling up soft neck garlic and scallions.. I really love harvesting and prepping the garlic. Your hands smell so good the rest of the day. This garlic is especially tasty. Its a bit young, so you don't get many with multiple cloves. But I really enjoy cooking with it. And lastly, we starting pulling some carrots.
Bright Colors and Hot Days:
Pulling Purple Carrots
Your eyes do not deceive you. These are in fact purple carrots. Orange on the inside, but purple on the outside. I had never seen such a gorgeous looking carrot before. Tasty and crispy sure. But purple? It turns out all carrots we originally purple. I dont know how true this is, but this is the explanation I got on the farm. Apparently carrots originate from the middle east, Egypt I think. They made their way around the region to places like Afghanistan. It wasn't until the carrot made its way to part of Europe that carrots were bred to be orange. Rumor has it that Holland wanted to breed the carrot to be the nation's official color. Again, you may want to verify that. The people at Abbo may be messing with me. It wouldn't be the first time.
|Michael Scott||May 12, 2008|
|Oven Dried Tomatoes||Michael Scott||May 12, 2008|
|Seaweed Salad||Masako Aizawa||July 14, 2008|
|Honey-Orange Thirst Quencher||Hollianne Hall||July 14, 2008|
|Honey-Lemon Thirst Quencher||Hollianne Hall||July 14, 2008|
|Honey Energy Bars||Hollianne Hall||July 14, 2008|
|Mushroom Mac N' Cheese||Randall Mack||December 1, 2008|
|Praise the Braise||Robert Pincus||December 15, 2008|
|Don't Wine About the Stout||Bob Kauffman||January 5, 2009|
|Hazelnut Latte Cream Stout||Don Blake||February 9, 2009|